Biography of Phillip S. Smith

This pioneer and substantial stockman and farmer of Nez Perces County is deserving of mention in this history since he has labored here for the advancement of the interests of the County and has done a good work in development since residing here. He was born in Cedar County, Iowa, on February 17, 1838, being the son of George S. and Clarissa (Stockton) Smith. The father was a carpenter and millwright, born in Tennessee, in 1802. He went to California in 1849 and died there in 1852. He was a captain of the militia in Iowa. The mother was born in Indiana in 1812. Her father, William Stockton, was a pioneer of that country and an Indian trader, and she was raised among the Delaware Indians until she was ten.

Our subject came to Oregon with his mother in 1853 settling in Linn County. She died the next year, leaving him an orphan. He went then to California and mined in Siskiyou County for three years. Next we see him in Oregon learning the saddler’s trade in Santiam, Marion County. Four years later, he came to Washington and thence to Idaho. In 1862, he was in Pierce City mining and in Florence, Warren and other camps he delved for the treasures of earth for a time and then went to packing. In 1867 he secured a pack outfit for himself and operated it from Lewiston to Warren and adjacent camps until 1871. Then he sold the outfit and operated land, since which time he has largely devoted himself to agriculture and stock raising. In 1896 he took up a claim on the Nez Perces reservation.

He was in the country during the Indian war in 1877. In 1864 a band of renegade Indians went on the warpath and he was one of a company of citizens that formed to resist them. They were received as United States soldiers and served until the savages were repelled. He carried the mail from Lapwai to Magnolia for two Years and from Lapwai to Slickpoo for three years, up to July, 1902.

In 1872 Mr. Smith married Susan, a Nez Perces woman, who was raised by Mrs. Craig, being a niece of that lady. To this marriage there have been born four children, William, in this County; an infant, deceased; Jackson, deceased; Lydia, wife of Paul Corbett, living in Kamiah. Mr. Smith is a Democrat but not partisan. He has brothers and sisters as follows: Mary A. Wood, Samuel, Nancy Crank and Rebecca Barton.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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